Couple holding their squid baby

Lovecrafted! – Fringe Fest March 2019

“We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far” ~ H. P. Lovecraft

**** Note that The Scruffy Bunny theatre is now in its Fringe Fest special location: Courtenay Creative, 49 Courtenay Place, Wellington ****

In 1925 young fantasy writer Howie Lovecraft fled his Rhode Island home, tormented by the failure of his marriage and other personal demons. No one was sure where he vanished to for six long months, but once returned all agree he wrote stories that were richer and darker than anything he had ever written before.

Why? Well, we now know that he took a tramp steamer to the farthest reaches of the Southern oceans, and spent those lost months travelling the length and breadth of New Zealand. He spoke to farmers and fisherfolk, and former nurses at long-closed special hospitals. Most significantly he attended lectures at Wellington’s Masseytonic University, and interviewed members of the faculty in exhaustive detail. He gathered dark tales of twisted deeds and unnatural monsters, and learnt truths that no man may learn without descending into madness. This research was woven into the warp and the weft of tales he wrote and rewrote until his untimely death in 1937, albeit with many of the place names and historical events transposed to more American locations at his publisher’s request.

Long forgotten in a dusty attic, a leather-bound trunk of Lovecraft’s original heavily annotated notes mouldered, until unverified rumours of the trove’s possible existence reached the ears of researchers from Masseytonick University. Thanks to their hard work, some at the expense of their very souls, a selection of these unheard tales will be retold as part of the 2019 Fringe Festival.

Lovecrafted! will be improvised on stage by direct descendants of those interviewed by that nervous young American. By an amazing coincidence all are members of the Wellington Improvisation Troupe.

Tickets: available as doorsales, or through the Fringe website, $10 or $7 concession/with a Fringe Addict pass.

When:
6.30pm Sat 16th March
6.30pm Sun 17th March
6.30pm Mon 18th March
6.30pm Tues 19th March
6.30pm Wed 20th March

Where: The Scruffy Bunny Improv Theatre, Courtenay Creative, 49 Courtney Place Wellington

Would you like a copy of our posters to put on your work notice board, or just to keep and admire?  Well, click right here for an A4 sized jpg file

Ferris Wheel and Lovecrafted posters

Websites:
WIT Event Facebook Page
Fringe Festival Page – Tickets on sale from December 18th 2018

 

Ferris Wheel Banner image

The Ferris Wheel – Fringe Fest March 2019

“Delightful energy, alertness and vulnerability . . . fresh and invigorating” – Theatreview

Set on the classic fairground ride each night’s unique show will star a rotating cast (ha!), weaving stories from the lives of characters spun together.  As well as familiar faces from WIT shows  Attack of the Killer B-Movie and Micetro there will be some bold new additions to the ensemble.

The Ferris Wheel format was created by Wade Jackson for Auckland’s Improv Bandits. The Wellington Improvisation Troupe (WIT) is excited to be bringing it to Wellington for the 2019 Fringe Festival.

WIT is Wellington’s community based improv troupe, its players share a love of storytelling and work together as a team to inspire the audience.

When:
5pm Sun 10th March
5pm Sat 16th March
5pm Sun 17th March
5pm Sat 23rd March

Where: The Scruffy Bunny Improv Theatre, Courtenay Creative, 49 Courtney Place Wellington

Would you like a copy of our posters to put on your work notice board, or just to keep and admire?  Well, click right here for an A4 sized jpg file

Ferris Wheel and Lovecrafted posters

Websites:
WIT Event Facebook Page
Fringe Festival Page – Tickets onsale NOW!

 

Micetro in support of Heart Kids, December 14th 2018

[This show was in the past – and excellent fun it was too]

Beloved improv elimination competition Micetro is back for another bite of the cheese.

A crew of eager improvisers will again battle head to head using wit, spur-of-the-moment storytelling and risking everything for an the love of the audience.  There’ll be songs!  Drama!  Pathos, bathos probably a bit of logos!    A mix of seasoned improvisers and adorable newcomers and everyone in between will play their hearts out to decide who gets eliminated and who survives to be crowned ‘Micetro’.

All profits go to support  HeartKids, who provide “lifelong support to born warriors living with Congenital Heart Defects and childhood heart disease”

When: 7.30pm Friday December 14th 2018

Where:
The Scruffy Bunny Improv Theatre, Ground Floor Reading Centre (where the Post Office used to be), Courtney Place, Wellington

Tickets:  $10 at the door, or buy in advance on Eventfinda

Websites: WIT Events on the Facebook

 

banner for attack of the killer puppets

Attack of the Killer Puppets!

[This show happened already, on October 31st 2018]

Halllooooweeeeen! Puppets. B-Movie inspired storylines. Improvisation! What could possibly go wrong?

The Wellington Improv Troupe (WIT) is delighted to bring you a ridiculous Halloween monster mashup of our regular homage to the 1950s B-Movie genre Attack of the Killer-B Movie and 2018 Fringe Fest felt-fest, The Late Night Puppets.

Entirely suitable for adults and robust older children who like hokey-spooky stuff. Our puppets may misbehave and get a bit rude or accidentally sweary (but not in a mean way) and there’ll also likely be dramatic stage lighting and depths-of-the-crypt style music. Tinfoil hat making material will be provided for added audience safety.

Tickets will be available from Eventfinda or as door sales, but by golly heck darn, we love it when people book tickets in advance. And then you know you won’t miss out if sales go crazy.

Finally, yes, you may bring your puppet, and puppets do not need to purchase a separate ticket to that held by their accompanying human, unless they are particularly large.

Where: The Scruffy Bunny Improv Theatre,  100 Courtenay Pl, Te Aro, Wellington
When: 7pm, Wednesday 31st October
Tickets: $10

 

Micetro in support of Wellington Women’s House, September 28th 2018

[This show was in the past – and excellent fun it was too]

Beloved improv elimination competition Micetro is back for another bite of the cheese.

A crew of eager improvisers will again battle head to head using wit, spur-of-the-moment storytelling and risking everything for an the love of the audience.  A mix of seasoned improvisers and adorable newcomers and everyone in between will play their hearts out to decide who gets eliminated and who survives to be crowned ‘Micetro’.

All profits go to support The Wellington Women’s House, “a safe haven that lets women get back on their feet and take the next steps in their life”.

When: 7pm Friday September 28th 2018
Where: The Scruffy Bunny Improv Theatre, Ground Floor Reading Centre (where the Post Office used to be), Courtney Place, Wellington

Websites:
WIT Events on the Facebook

 

happy new improvisors

Next Step and Joy of Improv from October 18th, enroll now!

Theses courses are often is fully booked, so enroll now to make sure you don’t miss out.

The Joy is WIT’s foundation class and suitable for any level of experience.  It has been run by WIT in association with the Wellington Community Education Centre (WCEC) for over 10 years now, and classes are always led by senior WIT trainers/performers.  This term Brenton Hodgson  will be leading the Joy of Improv.

WCEC operate a pleasing smorgasbord of Adult Education classes at various community venues, including many (like WIT’s) at the Wellington High School in Taranaki St, Mt Cook.

Warm up the dark nights of winter and those chill evenings of spring with a whole bunch of laughter and revel in being spontaneous and playful.

happy new improvisors

The Next Step is for peeps who’ve completed The Joy, or who already have some improv experience with another troupe.  The focus is on becoming super stage ready, supporting your fellow players, and generally having an excellently fun time.  This is usually run after every-other Joy of Improv, so there won’t be another course until term ii in 2019.

Both classes will come together to create a fabulous end-of-year graduation show for friends and family, at The Scruffy Bunny Improv Theatre, on Sunday December 9th.

In Term 4 this will be led by Ali Little (a Co-Creative Director of WIT, also convener of the Wellington Improv Meetup, Wimprov), with some guest leaders teaching special skills on a couple of nights.

happy new improvisors

Next Joy of Improv starts on August 2nd, enroll now!

Wiremu Tuhiwai will be leading the Joy of Improv in Term 3.   The course is often is fully booked, so enroll now to make sure you don’t miss out.

The Joy is WIT’s foundation class and suitable for any level of experience.  It has been run by WIT in association with the Wellington Community Education Centre (WCEC) for over 10 years now, and classes are always led by senior WIT trainers/performers.

WCEC operate a pleasing smorgasbord of Adult Education classes at various community venues, including many (like WIT’s) at the Wellington High School in Taranaki St, Mt Cook.

Warm up the dark nights of winter and those chill evenings of spring with a whole bunch of laughter and revel in being spontaneous and playful.

happy new improvisors

 

Congratulations to the new committee!

The WIT Committee is selected from and elected by members at an Annual General Meeting, with other members occasionally seconded as needed.  This year because WIT’s accounts were not yet available for review when the AGM was held on June 12th, an extra ‘Special General Meeting’ will held soon (before the end of July).   However the members present decided to work through all the other business on the agenda, so, serving WIT for 2017-2018 are

 

Micetro

How Micetro Works

A quick guide for players

Micetro, pronounced as ‘Maestro’, and indeed now called Maestro in many places.

This format was devised by Keith Johnston and is administered by the International Theatresports Institute.  It was created to allow performers of mixed abilities to work together. Typically there are 10-14 players (although in a large venue some groups play with up to 20), an MC, a musician and 1 or 2 directors and a lighting improvisor.

It is a game-of-a-game, with the players pretending to the audience that they are really serious about ‘competing’ with each other (stakes are high), although everyone is working together to create a great experience for the audience.  However, the feedback from the audience – who judge each scene – is quite real, an instant judgement on each scene.

In some shows the players are called by numbers, wearing big bold numbers on their clothes so the audience can see.  The person wearing number one will typically assume the persona of the “last week” or “last season” winner (real or not).

The directors choose for every scene the appropriate number of players, usually fishing name tags or numbers out of a hat, although these may be tweaked slightly to ensure that newer players are well supported. The directors explain the improv game to be played, may ask the audience for suggestions, direct and correct the scene.  Depending on the venue, suggestions may also be collected before the show, for example if the ‘pick up lines’ game is being played.

After each scene or game the audience decides, by cheering and applause how many points the scene should be awarded, with one being for a not-so-good scene, and a five a scene that made them laugh and cry.  Each player gets as many points as the scene he or she played in was awarded, although the MC may give or deduct extra points for good or ‘bad’ player behavior.  Note the “Last Name” rule.  If a director *really* wants you to stop the mischief, they will use your last name.   So, “Billy, it’s time to leave the stage” means “Billy, carry on”, while “Smithers, time to leave the stage” means really go now this has gone on too long.

Also, *be happy* if your scene is awarded a one or two, your audience have judged you correctly!  The evening will be much more interesting than if every scene is given a three.   Also, this is not a fair competition. Because it is not a competition.

Once everyone has played in a scene (or more often two or three), the players with the lowest score take a bow and leave, happily and gracefully, and the whole thing starts again.  Usually there are about five rounds in a one hour show. The directors generally ensure that that there are more group-games at the start of the evening, and more 2-person scenes or even monologues toward the end of the evening.

This is a fun format designed to be played with mixed bunches of experienced and not-so-experienced players, with challenges for all. Since players are immediately judged, it is perfectly possible to loose a star player near the start.  Being eliminated doesn’t mean someone is out of the show: there will be opportunities to leap back on stage when there’s a need for a forest in the background, or a backing chorus for a rousing song.

In the end there will be one player acclaimed Micetro: this is the signal for all the players to return to the stage and admire the winner.

Typical games you might expect to see in a WIT Micetro

Freeze tag as a group game at the beginning
Word at a time story
Speak in one voice
Epic poem or Arty Poem
Experts – either Arms Experts or with an interpreter
Musical rollercoaster, or emotional rollercoaster
Numbers of words (speaking in sentences the length controlled by the director)
Touch to talk
Pickup Lines
Song, sonnet sermon
Rhyming Couplet scene
Opera or Gibberish Opera
Foreign Film
Death in a Minute
Scene ending in I love you
Songs on a topic of the audiences choosing (typically folk or rock ballads)
Open scenes, with an initial situation or issue suggested by the audience

If you find yourself up for a game you don’t recognise, in a clear voice ask the Director to explain it for the audience.

[adapted from The Improv Encyclopedia itself sourced from the original source of all things Micetro, Keith Johnstone’s Impro for Storytellers]

Resources (or just make your own, these are just one guide) :
MC Sheet : Micetro Score Sheet_revised
Directors’ Notes : Micetrodirectorsheet